Last year, over the festive period, a dental health insurance company campaigned to raise awareness of the quantity of sugar which many are consuming, completely unaware of the incredibly high levels within their favourite festive tipples.

The research presented suggested that the worst offender contained nearly 100g of sugar and could be found in a Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate:

Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate, large size, full fat
661 calories
19.4g fat
103.8g carbohydrates
98.1g sugar

Let's be honest though, it's not just winter warmers that have an excessive amount of sugar. The campaign group Action on Sugar has warned of the dangerously high sugar content of certain hot beverages found in many high street coffee shop chains.

Their recent report states that 98% of hot, flavoured drinks would receive a 'red' (high) label for excessive levels of sugars per serving - with 35% of these drinks containing the same amount of even more than a can of Coca-Cola.

They found that a hot mulled fruit drink from a popular high street coffee chain was the worst offender. Their grape drink with chai, orange and cinnamon is the drink in question, containing a whopping 25 teaspoons of sugar - more than three times the maximum adult daily intake of sugars.

With the imminent release of the government’s Childhood Obesity Strategy, Action on Sugar is calling for stricter product reformulation of sugar and fat with mandated targets, a ban on promotions and marketing of unhealthy products and a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks

Tips to reduce sugar consumption

So you want to reduce your sugar intake, what can you do? Consider taking on board some of the these top tips.

  • Making your meals and snacks from scratch is always good as you will know exactly what is in them. This is one of the main issues with food bought on the high street as you simply don't know exactly what is going into them.
  • Teaching yourself to always read the labels on food and drink packaging is a good idea. Learn about and look out for the more unusual terms for sugar so you know what you are putting into your body.
  • Stick to water, milk, tea and coffee (without sugar added) for fluids, and nuts, cheese, vegetables, and sugar-free rice cakes for snacks. All of these have low or no sugar in them.

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